Chandratal Lake

You have to see Chandratal to believe it, perched at a remarkable altitude of 4200 meters above sea level. The most charismatic lake in the Himalayas, Chandratal Lake is often known as the trekker’s heaven. This intriguing lake is located on the Samudra Tapu plateau, near to the Chandra River. The views from Chandratal are among the best in the Spiti region.

The lake earned its name because it is crescent-shaped. If you’re seeking a great combination of adventure and relaxation, there’s no better place to start than Chandratal. The journey to Chandratal Lake winds through dangerous Batal trails that will get your adrenaline pounding. 

The Chandratal Lake is a Ramsar protected site. As a result, camping near the lake is prohibited. You can, however, camp at the designated site approximately 2 kilometers before it. 

You will also get the opportunity to ascend the glaciers between Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass. Chandratal, which spans 2.5 kilometers, sees a tremendous flood of visitors throughout the summer months. During the winter, this location is on the bucket list of adventure seekers looking to push their limits.

How To Reach

There are two plausible routes to Chandratal: one through Manali and the other through Shimla and then to Spiti Valley. Shimla’s route is longer than Manali route.

If you choose to take public transportation, there are two buses that run between Manali and Kaza in the early morning. The bus departs Kullu at 4:30 a.m. and travels to Manali. The trip to Kaza from here is only about Rs 250 per person. You can climb to Chandratal Lake once you arrive at the Chandratal diversion point in the evening.

If you are traveling from Shimla, there are two non-ac buses that run between Shimla and Reckong Peo. When you arrive in Reckong Peo, take a 7:00 a.m. HRTC bus to Kaza. Take a bus from Kaza to Manali and get out at the Chandratal Lake diversion site. You can hike the remainder of the journey from here.

Best Time To Visit

Winter is not a good season to visit Chandratal Lake because the road is completely covered by snow. The snow begins to melt in May, but the paths beyond Losar remain impassable. The greatest time to visit Chandratal Lake is in June, when the snow removal work is complete.

During this season, you can hike the 14-kilometer road from Batal to the lake. You can also visit between July and September, when the roads are open and the weather is lovely. However, avoid the August monsoon due to flooded roads and landslides.


Nearby Places to Visit


Sissu, located at an elevation of 3170 meters, is famed for its stunning landscapes and magnificent waterfalls. The banks of the Chandra River cradle Sissu Lake. This rural hamlet, only 90 kilometers from Manali, is a perfect place to reconnect with nature.


At 3360 meters in elevation, it is yet another trekkers’ heaven. Darcha is a famous camping spot about 24 kilometers from Keylong. You can start your walk from here and make your way to Zanskar Valley.

Suraj Tal: 

Suraj Tal is accessible via a 2-3 day walk from Chandratal. It is a popular destination for tourists interested in road trips and trekking. This lake, formed by the streams of the Bhaga river, is known as the Sun God’s Lake. It is India’s third highest lake, located at an elevation of 4,950 meters.

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Frequently Askee Questions

If you are traveling through Manali to reach the Rohtang Pass, you must obtain a permit. Until 2021, you did not need a permit to visit Chandratal via Shimla, but due to growing concerns about the increase of tourists, the Lahaul-Spiti administration has decided to implement a permit system.

The Chandratal trek ranges in difficulty from easy to tough. You will need to hike up to an elevation of 16,240 feet. The trek to Chandratal from Batal is almost 18 km.

Chandratal Lake is considered one of India’s holy lakes. Its beautiful waters are not open to swimming.

There is no cellphone connectivity to any network in Chandratal. So, neither BSNL nor any other telecom has a connection at Chandratal Lake or Batal.

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